Longtime Manafort Deputy Rick Gates Admits Embezzlement

Rick Gates leaves federal court in Washington, Feb. 23, 2018. Gates is a former top adviser to President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA | VOA News — The government’s star witness in the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort testified Monday that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the former Trump campaign chairman — and told jurors he and Manafort committed crimes together.

Rick Gates has been regarded as a crucial witness for the government ever since he pleaded guilty this year to two felony charges and agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

In the beginning of a hugely anticipated courtroom showdown, Gates told jurors that he siphoned off the money without Manafort’s knowledge by filing false expense reports. He also admitted to concealing millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts on Manafort’s behalf and to falsifying loan applications and other documents to help Manafort obtain more in bank loans.

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